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Dustbot Trash Collector: the Roomba’S Big Big Brother

by Lambert Varias
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Co-funded by the European Commission, the $3.9 million (USD) Dustbot project aims to build a moderately-sized robot to navigate the narrow streets that garbage trucks can’t reach. Hey that rhymed! Nice. Anyway the pictures below were taken from Dustbot’s trial run in Peccioli, Italy.

dustbot-1

Aside from collecting garbage, the Dustbot can also analyze the quality of the surrounding air. Its sensors can measure the amount of pollutants like sulfur oxide, benzene, ozone, and nitrogen oxide.

dustbot-2

The touch screen monitor seems to be a way for users to tell Dustbot the type of garbage that they’re going to give to him – Vetro is Italian for glass, Carta means paper, etc. – so presumably it will have a way of marking or tagging the garbage bags that it collects. Inhabitat also adds that the Dustbot can be “summoned” via text messaging, and that it will be able to “remember” residents using some form of ID.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehD7v33Foww

Right now Dustbot isn’t nimble enough to navigate crowded streets, but that’s not my primary concern. I kinda wish that Dustbot would have a Taser, or at least a bottle of pepper spray, because sooner or later a bunch of bored kids or perhaps even thieves will mess with the poor ‘bot.  You can visit dustbot.org for more videos, pics and details.

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